If you live in the Vail Valley, you’ve won
Krish Dhanam, good friend of mine and someone I consider a friend and mentor, is native of India, and for the past 17 years a citizen of the United States. He says, “If you woke up this morning and are lucky enough to call America home, you have already won.”
You see, Krish grew up in a part of India where they had running water ” if you needed water you simply ran and got it. He understands the difference between there and the Vail Valley.
I agree with Krish and believe that America is the greatest country on earth. I also believe that if you woke up this morning and can call the Vail Valley home, you have won at an even higher level. (pun intended)
I write this recognizing that reservations and bookings are down, business is off, organizations are doing some re-organizing and some people have lost or are losing their jobs ” and to top it off, the holiday shopping this season has seemed like a chore. The cookies aren’t baked yet, the gifts aren’t purchased or wrapped, and gift cards seem like the easy way out and the only way to go. But we still have the mountains!
We get to jump out and play whenever we can. Even if it is just for an hour or two at lunch ” OK, maybe an hour and 50 minutes so you have enough time to get back to the car and get out of the garage before the time runs out on your two-hour free parking.
More than 5,000 skiable acres in Vail and more than 1,800 skiable acres in Beaver Creek and a view from more than 11,000 feet at the peak of both ski mountains ” it’s incredible, simply magnificent. This past week I skied The Beav and it was snowing like crazy. It was midweek and there weren’t too many folks on the hill. Needless to say, Grouse Mountain was mine for the taking. So off to Screech Owl I went. The snow was soft and pure and it was awesome.
After panting my way down Bald Eagle and Falcon Park on the next run (early season legs and lungs), I rode up the Larkspur chair and took a chance at Three Tree Gully. As I skied into the aspen grove, I stopped, looked around and listened for several minutes ” there were no sounds except the snowflakes coming to rest on my head and jacket and distant snow guns lower down on the run, but there was no one else around.
As I looked around in my solitude, I raised my head up and thanked God for this incredible place we get to call home and that those who visit us get to experience. I took that time alone in Three Tree Gully to thank God for all of my many blessings but at that moment I was thanking Him for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful valley. That day, at that moment, I felt like I had already won.
Hanukkah has started, Christmas is two days away and it is a time of joy and happiness, a time to reflect on our past year and start planning our New Year’s resolutions. And it all happens at a time when, as my friend Merle Daniels says on one of her T-shirt designs, “The Mountains are Calling.” You can find Merle’s shirts in some of the shops in Vail and Beaver Creek.
I am confident that whatever your current situation is, whether challenging or terrific, it will improve. It may take a little time, but it always improves. And just remember that you live here, and that, my friend, means that you, too, have already won.
To contact Michael Norton e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.